Multi-Use Makeup

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

As much as I love beauty products, an extensive product habit poses two problems. First, collecting lots of products is a bit expensive. Second, my arsenal of primping helpers takes up a fairly decent amount of space —  both at home, at on the go in my much-too-heavy purse.

Thankfully, as much as I love having lots of products to choose from, the answer to a pretty, polished face needn’t involve a makeup artists’ case full of products. With the right choice products — and the right application techniques — you can create a variety of looks with just a few secret weapons in your stash. In the slides above, I’ll show you seven products that I like to have on hand, no matter what, thanks to their sneaky multitasking properties. Check out my picks, and let me know if you have a multipurpose product that has never let you down!

featured image by bryce covey from once wed


Sephora Collection Brow Enhancer

A highlighting pencil is almost the definition of a makeup secret weapon. This subtly pearly pencil (it comes in six shades so you can choose the perfect one for your skin tone) can be used in a myriad of ways: to highlight the brow bone and inner corner of the eye, as a boost to concealer to cut under eye circles, and even as an allover eyeshadow if you’re looking to brighten the eye area.

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara

If you’ve never considered the joys of brown mascara, it’s time to reconsider. This rich shade of chocolate will naturally define lashes, stand in for cream eyeliner, and can even define brows — just wipe the brush with a tissue to remove excess product before swiping on.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Cheek Rush in Techno Jam

Despite its intimidating appearance, the sheer texture of this mulberry liquid blush means that it can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks with a light hand for a subtly moody, romantically flushed look.

Nudestix Eye Pencil in Pewter

It may seem like the most boring makeup shade on the planet, but trust me: taupe eyeshadow is where it’s at. I prefer it in the form of this creamy eye pencil, which can be used as shadow, liner, brown enhancer and even — yes – contour. Sketch it lightly on either side of your nose and under cheekbones, blend thoroughly, and voila!

Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in Whisper

I know that lip gloss on your face just sounds gross — but, if you use an all-natural gloss like this one from Burt’s Bees, I promise that you’ll love the glowy glint it can add to eyelids, cheeks and lips. (The lack of synthetic silicones will ensure that the gloss won’t break you out.)

NARS Matte Multiple in Exumas

The perfect spring face, in my opinion, is pretty in peach. Simply swipe this glowing shade on lips, the apples of the cheeks, and in the crease of your eyelids for a lit-from-within glow in ten seconds flat!

Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach

This product is like foundation, but made 10x smarter. A “correction concentrate,” not just a concealer, it can be used in small doses to cover imperfections, or can be mixed with moisturizer, primer, or even liquid bronzer to create the exact coverage that you prefer. Simply mix the product in the palm of your hand with a fluffy brush before applying.